Q: This is your first film... ..why did you choose to do 1) a horror movie and 2) a zombie movie.
This was my first feature film, but it was the second screenplay I wrote, the first is a pure comedy. I think I did a horror film first because I thought it would be easier. Most first time film makers do horror first, even in Hollywood. I'm a big zombie fan! The idea of the dead coming back scares the hell out of me. I get kinda creeped out if I watch a zombie movie by myself at night. But yet I still do it.
Q: What is your background as a filmmaker?
Not much! Other than coming up with stories to cover my ass when I was a kid. I fooled around with a video camera in high school making shitty little shorts. Went on to film school, did a few music videos, but nothing on a scale of this size.
Q: Explain the title.
Our working title was " A Night to Remember" it was a name of an old Titanic movie, and it was also a boring title for a zombie movie. I didn't want the words Night-Dead-Living-Hell-End-Zombie in the title. I wanted to set this movie apart from other zombie movies, and I figured the title would be a good place to start. Even though the title was agreed upon 3 months after production. "Revelation 22: 22" sounded (to me anyway) strong, something you wouldn't expect a zombie movie to be called. I was also afraid people would think it was a film about religion. I get this question a lot and "What does "Revelation 22: 22" mean? I tell people just pick up a bible and look it up!
Q: How did you go about getting crew, equipment and actors?
The crew were people I went to college with. People that knew what they were doing and have a love for filmmaking. Equipment. . . I rented the camera (CP-16) from a college professor after he heard that the film school I graduated from told me to piss off when I ask to rent there's.
Other equipment I bought, (sound mixer, mics, lights) and some things we made (boom pole, reflector boards, dolly) I held auditions at a local reception hall. Only about four had what I was looking for, the rest of them... well lets just say I know what Simon Cowell from American Idol goes through.
When you meet good actors they introduce you to other good actors, and rest of the casting was done that way.
Q: There are quite a few extras as zombies and the locations are suitably dreary. How was all this coordinated?
The Zombies were friends and family of the cast and crew, and others were from the community theater where most of my cast was from. I think we had about 40 zombie extras, But I used them at different times for different scenes. I was trying to keep from having the same zombie popping up in every shot. I also switched their sex, I would shoot a scene with girls in dresses and guys in suits, When it came time for a different camera angle I had the zombie extras switch wardrobe.
The exterior of the abandoned gas station was just that, a real abandoned gas station. We only had to board up the windows and add the sign. The Interior of the abandoned gas station was (at the time) my apartment. I was screwed out of using the inside of the real gas station, so I figured what the hell. Besides we had running water, electric, and A/C. I built a fake wall and covered the walls with foam board... then trashed it! I was going for the look of a place were kids go to drink, smoke pot, and screw! I think almost every town has a place like this.
Coordinating was a little tough, you had to shot around the cast and crews work days, school, birthdays, holidays, rain, money. As soon as the cast and crew saw that we were really making something, they went that extra mile to do what they could to see this to the end. And for that I'm grateful.
Q: What was the best thing about the production?
Seeing the characters come to life. It was weird watching the evolution of the characters from an idea in my head to paper, then to what the actor added. Rolling film for the first time and getting that first shot in the can was pretty cool because I knew that once this starts it's not over until it's done or I was dead from trying. And having a great cast and crew that got along. None of us knew each other when we started, and by the end I had a few extra family members.
Q: The worst?
The worst was time and money! If I had enough time I could get the money, and If I had enough money I could buy the time. I never had them both at the same time.
Q: How long did the movie take to complete, from start to finish?
About 3 1/2 years, that whole time & money thing. Only being able to shoot mostly on weekends, it took us about 2 years to complete the production part. Not having video assist or the budget for dailies, I had to wait about a year and a half to see a single frame.
Q: Has the movie had any festival showings?
We screened "Revelation 22: 22" at the Motor City International Film Festival in Detroit MI in August. Also this November in New York City. I have submitted to other film festivals and I'm just waiting, updates will be posted on the website.
Q: What are your plans with it?
I would like to sell it to a distributor. I'm ready to move on and get started on another film. If that doesn't pan out I'll self-distribute it myself.
Q: Are you preparing your next film?
I'm in the process of re-writing the first screenplay I wrote, It's a comedy cross of "Dumb & Dumber" meets "It's a Wonderful Life". I don't want to paint myself into a corner by doing one type of genre for to0 long and then try something else. I want to get a feel for what kinds of movies I'm more interested in making. I'll probably do a romantic comedy, then a thriller, before I do another horror. But you never know!